Release: 8th February 2016
Format: BR / DVD / DGTL
According to the rules of The City, single people are arrested and then transferred to The Hotel. There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released into The Woods. A desperate Man (Farrell), escapes from The Hotel to The Woods where The Loners live and falls in love, although it is against their rules.
If you take your coffee like you take your comedy, then I don’t think you’ll find a single Starbucks in England which serves a roast this dark and bitter. The Lobster is an insanely gloomy, yet crudely moreish take on dating culture and the existential nature of love. It feels like the love child of Wes Anderson and Jean Luc Godard, with a dash of Takeshi Kitano thrown in for good measure. There isn’t a single moment in the film which feels organic or honest, yet it’s one of the most truthful movies you’ll find this year.
The film opens with a painfully awkward Colin Farrell being dumped by his wife, and checking into the oppressive walls of ‘The Hotel’. He has 45 days to find a mate, or risks being transformed into the animal of his choosing; a lobster. Oh, and this is the most normal moment in the film.
Not since Spize Jonze dropped Her on the world, has a leftfield auteur so keenly stepped out of the shadows and straight into the eyes of mainstream admiration. With The Lobster, Director Yorgos Lanthimos has put himself firmly in line to become one of Europe’s most exciting new talents. Granted, he has been around for a little while, but with this latest effort he has proved that ambiguous art house cinema can paradoxically be an astute and readily accessible commentary…and bloody good entertainment too. The Lobster asks nothing of its audience, except to take it by the hand and venture down the rabbit hole. There is a constant idiosyncrasy to the film, but only on occasion does it feel manufactured. However, in the context of the story it is hard to judge these moments too harshly; after all this is a world filled with pretence.
There is not a single rotten apple in the film’s cast. Special mention does, of course, go to Farrell and Weisz. Not only do they share a great chemistry, but they give a painful inner frenzy to the characters of David and The Short Sighted Woman. They feel like a pair so perfect for each other, yet so ridiculously ill-equipped to succeed in their own company. Ben Whishaw and Ashley Jensen bring heady a mixture of comedy and tragedy; you’d almost think Shakespeare himself had dreamt them up. Whilst simmering beautifully in the background, always present yet never stealing a single moment, is Lea Seydoux. She is a passive aggressive bully who skulks around the film casting a constant shadow on all she meets, providing a menace so profound that you can feel her, even when she isn’t on screen.
It will test your patience, and it will definitely not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you can suffer The Lobster’s skittish tone and obstinate refusal to calm down, then you are in for a real treat.
Film Grade: B+
A blink and you’ll miss it Making Of provides very little reason to demand viewing; except for maybe the growing sense that Colin Farrell based his look on the film’s screenwriter, Efthymis Filippou.
Then the bog standard Trailer.
Special Features Grade: E+
It’s crazy, it’s funny, it’ll get you wondering “what kind of animal would I choose?” But most of all, The Lobster will make you thankful that film’s like this can still get made.